Vets have boycotted the exercise

While the 19th Livestock Census has been completed in all other States, it remains a non-starter in Karnataka.

The reason: a boycott by veterinary surgeons who have been demanding revised pay scale on a par with doctors working in the Health and Family Welfare Department, time-bound promotions, and rural allowance.

The census was to have been conducted between September 15 and October 15. The census data will be used to frame government policies and distribute various benefits to farmers.

An official in the Animal Husbandry Department told The Hindu that all the demands of the veterinary surgeons would be placed before the Cabinet meeting to be held on October 18 in Gulbarga.

Karnataka Veterinary Association president T. Sreenivasa Reddy, said Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Animal Husbandry Minister Revu Naik Belamagi had given a commitment that their demands would be conceded.

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had constituted a high-powered committee headed by the former Additional Chief Secretary Meera Saxena that recommended the reorganisation of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department.

Mr. Reddy said that the panel, which submitted its report a year ago, recommended upgrading of veterinary hospitals, clinics and also increasing the pay scale and allowances of veterinary surgeons.

He said the veterinary surgeons would cooperate in conducting the census only if the government met their demands.

Mr. Reddy said the entire exercise could be completed in two weeks. “As data entry will take place in December/January, there is still plenty of time to take up the census work,” he said.

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